Attend the Michigan Spring Peach Conference!
The Michigan Peach Spring Conference
Will be held on March 13, 2018
SW Michigan Research & Extension Center
1790 Hillandale Road
Benton Harbor, Michigan
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We invite all interested individuals and organizations to become members of the Michigan Peach Sponsors! Members of the Michigan Peach Sponsors receive updates, reduced rates for conferences sponsored by MPS, and the satisfaction of helping to promote Michigan’s Peach industry! See our Contact Page for more information on joining!
Monitoring Peach and Nectarine Ripening
Guidelines are presented here to help Michigan growers, packers, shippers, and marketers deliver high quality peaches and nectarines. Fruit firmness, fruit size, shape, and skin color are key factors. Once a peach or nectarine is picked, the sugar content does not increase. Fruit left on the tree will generally continue to develop sugar and reduce flesh acidity. Fruit picked late will have poorer storage characteristics. Judging the correct harvest time is complicated.
Managing Peach Scaffolds
A young peach tree is generally very vigorous and will develop numerous fruiting limbs. However, as peach trees mature, it is common to see very little new fruiting wood develop on older limbs. This problem is the result of growing structural wood adjacent to a fruiting wood zone. The large side secondary structural limbs will eventually inhibit the emergence of new fruiting wood on the proximal (toward scaffold) side in the zone marked with the white bar.
Diagnosing Rhizopus Rot of Peaches
Rhizopus causes a brown-colored rot with a loose skin, unlike the relatively firmer brown fruit rot. Rhizopus is primarily a disease of overripe fruit in storage, particularly if the storage temperature is above 40 F.. Brown rot shows up as a fruit rot before and after harvest. Rhizopus form grey-black sporangiophores on the surface of fruit
Fresh Market Peach Industry in Michigan
Melting flesh types can be clingstone or freestone, usually depending on expected harvest date for a particular variety. In general, melting type peaches that mature before Red Haven tend to be clingstone, whereas melting type varieties that mature after Red Haven tend to be freestone. Some commercial melting flesh types have red flesh color near the pit and scattered throughout the flesh.
Home canners may prefer either melting or non-melting flesh. Most commercial non-melting clingstone varieties are good to excellent for canning and freezing. On the other hand, most commercial melting-types have good to excellent resistance to flesh browning. Peaches that have red in the flesh, especially near the pit, may discolor over time as the red pigment develops a brown hue. Any of the major Michigan varieties are recommended for canning and freezing.
Non-Melting Processing Peach Varieties
Non-melting peaches are selected to have orange flesh color with no red, and a distinctive taste somewhat reminiscent of apricots. Most commercial canned peaches are non-melting types because of the preference for firm peach slices in salads. Non-melting types have flesh that remain firm in the canning jar and in purees such as baby food.
Non-melting types are clingstone, meaning the flesh adheres to the pit when ripe. Non-melting peaches are often considered as fresh market fruit to be eaten out of hand by some ethic groups.